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Our Mission

The mission of the Business Enterprise Program (BEP) is to provide self-employment opportunities to Oregonians who are legally blind and wish to run their own food concession businesses.

What are the ideal qualities of a BEP candidate?

This specialized program seeks out self-motivated participants with an entrepreneurial spirit who aspire to grow and fulfill their potential. The ideal candidate should be motivated, open to suggestions and constructive criticism, have independent living and organizational skills, an ability to relate well with the public, and the physical and emotional stamina to meet the demands of self-employment.

What kind of training is offered?

OCB and BEP staff provide free classroom and operational skills training with an emphasis on food service management, customer service, and food preparation health and safety. BEP staff help participants acquire the appropriate certifications and licenses to manage and operate food concessions such as espresso stands, micro markets, traditional vending routes, cafés, or food carts. As soon as a participant receives the appropriate licensure and certifications, they are eligible to bid on existing opportunities within the state of Oregon.

How many BEP managers are in the program?

Currently there are 15 licensed BEP participants in the state of Oregon. These 15 participants provide a high level of personalized service and strive to offer superior quality products at competitive prices to meet their customers’ needs.

How do I know if I’m eligible for this program and how do I apply to become a BEP candidate?

Each BEP Candidate must be a legally blind US Citizen and have an open OCB VR case. The candidate’s OCB VR Counselor must certify that the applicant would be a good fit for the program. Below are three mandatory prerequisites arranged and funded by the OCB VR Counselor prior to the application process:

  • Psychological Evaluation
  • Pre-employment Background Check
  • Pre-employment Drug Screening

Once the applicant is approved by VR, they will be directed to an online BEP Application Form to complete the process.

If you have more questions about the OCB BEP, talk with your VR Counselor who can connect you with the BEP Training Specialist.

The BEP is administered by the Oregon Commission for the Blind under the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Stand Act, which covers federal properties, and ORS 346.510 to 346.570. This state law provides that the Commission for the Blind shall operate vending facilities in or on any "public buildings or properties," defined as any building, land or other real property, owned, leased, or occupied by any department or agency of the State of Oregon.

Useful Links

Audio and text files of BE Elected Committee Meetings, as well as 2017 rule-making meeting files

2023 RSA-15 Report

2023 Oregon Legislative Report